June 18th, 2009
10:28 AM ET
9 years ago

President Obama back on the fundraising circuit

A glimpse of one of Obama's fundraising appearances as president.

A glimpse of one of Obama's fundraising appearances as president.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama will deliver the keynote address at a joint fundraiser tonight for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and its House counterpart, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee - the fifth time in six months he's used his presidential star power to boost his party's fundraising fortunes.

Since taking office in January, Obama has headlined two party fundraisers in the nation's capital, one in Beverly Hills, California, and another in Indianapolis, Indiana. While in Indiana, he also served as the main attraction at a fundraiser for that state's Democratic representatives. Last month, he gave the keynote address at a fundraiser in Las Vegas for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

As CNN reported earlier this week, sources familiar with the event say the dinner will raise around $3 million, which falls far short of a recent GOP congressional fundraiser headlined by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Spokesmen for the National Republican Congressional Committee and National Republican Senatorial Committee said $14 million was raised at that event, held earlier this month in Washington.

Still, the two fundraisers are difficult to compare because Democrats refused donations from registered lobbyists and political action committees for this dinner. Obama does not accept contributions from political action committees and lobbyists.

While lobbyists and their big bucks won't be around tonight, they and their personal donations will be welcome tomorrow morning at a Democratic event at the same hotel that is not subject to Obama's lobbyist restrictions.

One of the Democratic sources said that attendees at this week's fundraiser are primarily new donors, while the other source noted that the ban on lobbyist and PAC donations was a temporary measure for this dinner, and that those traditional contributors will continue to give to congressional Democrats.

Still, the sizable money gap raises questions as to why a popular president and the congressional Democratic majority were not able to pull in more money at a major fundraiser.

A year and a half before the 2010 midterm elections, the congressional campaign committees are aggressively seeking to raise money. In the latest Federal Election Commission disclosures, the DSCC was carrying a debt of $4.6 million with a cash-on-hand balance of more than $2.6 million; the DCCC was $7 million in debt, and had $4 million in the bank; the NRSC had $2.6 million in the bank and no debt; and the NRCC was $5 million in debt and had about $3.7 million cash-on-hand.

While the President speaks in prime time, Vice President Biden will kick things off earlier in the day, addressing the DSCC/DCCC fundraiser this afternoon.

- CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Mark Preston contributed to this report

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. girlymen love the GOP

    We may get sick of him but we will never go back to the rightwing jihadist republicans.Why do you think they called them the republican guards,they are fascists like Bush and Cheney.

    June 18, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. Tania

    I am sure there will be criticism of the President fundraising - and whatever else he does. How about CNN or someone keeping a chart - of events, appearances, "dates", vacations, games, whatever, that the past 3-4 Presidents have attended/done, and the expenses involved. I don't like this President being blamed for the minutest little thing he does or does not do, when this is what each President has done (and the First Lady). Some of the reactions in the comments are so virulent and naive - as if no other First Lady did this or that.

    June 18, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  3. Matt Easton

    I thought Obama had a lot on his plate? So he can take time to schmooz money out of people, but he can't take the time to solve marriage equality, DOMA, DADT? Change You Can Believe In?

    Not yet.

    June 18, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. the southern progressive

    i would like to say thank you to former President George W Bush for finally speaking up to reassure everyone that they made the only choice, the right choice, in electing President Barak Obama.

    anything W says, the opposite must be true.

    June 18, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  5. kevin

    i thought this man was supposed to be the president. OH OH wait, he is no good at all at doing that, so i guess he just does everything else, trying to mask the fact that he can't do his real job. Yeah thats right mr. obama, alot of people are beginning to really really dislike what your doing, or not doing. yes yes what a huge huge fraud, and an elitist jerk also

    June 18, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. Democrat in MD (CNN please post. Thank you!)

    @ Fair is Fair who said, If he's not spending, he's raising campaign cash. Or apologizing.
    All the President has done is act like a mature human being to admit when our policies & actions were WRONG!
    I wonder...What do you do if you make a mistake...blame everyone else, like Bush?
    Grow up & have a nice day!

    June 18, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. berkemmp

    This shows you how hopeless the Democratic party is Obama in office for less than a year and already doing fundraisers to repay his debt for the election how sad. Asking the middle class to give more money to his party when all said and done once he steps down from office they will not exist any more it will only be the rich and the poor after he follows through on all his policies.

    June 18, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  8. New Yorker

    Yeah, keep that special interest money flowing in; he'll be sure to reward you with taxpayer pay-offs.

    Our country is in a disastrous situation because of all the immoral and indecent activity the godless leftists love and promote. I am not saying all those in the center and on the right are blameless, but they do, for the most part, support ideas and policies which made this nation the great nation it used to be.

    June 18, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  9. Brad of IL.

    He jusy finds legal ways too steal your tax dollars, and get his crooked Chicago buddies too donate for more Gov. contracts. Please GOD give us the will too elect a Third Party Candidate in the next elections. Obama should just call Acorn , they had no problem stealing the election for him . Maybe they would find some welfare people too say they donated there riches.

    June 18, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  10. Bob in Pa

    Bo sure is good at raising funds huh. Just wait and see how good his tax increases are !

    June 18, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. Hayden

    Why can't this man just govern? I remember President Bush being criticized for being out of DC so much in his first year in office, especially by the likes of Michael Moore, so why the double standard? But, I find it interesting that an event with the POTUS is only going to raise 3 mil while the GOP dinner with Gingrich and Palin raised 14 mil.

    The Obamatons and others won't admit it but there is A LOT of anger out there and i think they will feel the voters wrath in 2010.

    June 18, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  12. watching

    Interestingly, it was the Bush administration that sent some Gitmo detainees to a Saudi jihadi rehabilitation camp - called the "Prince Mohammed bin Nayef Centre for Care and Counseling."

    Keep talking Bush
    Keep reminding us why...
    Bur remember anything you say can and will be held against you

    I'm posting here because CNN leaves Obama open and closes comments on Bush........who makes those decisions?

    June 18, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  13. Operation Crush Rush

    President Obama is doing a great job and we will send alot of money.

    June 18, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. Dan, NY

    Barack has no job. He does not know how to manage the administration. We are deep into the hole and he is going around collecting money for campaign. What a hypocrite.

    June 18, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. Deborah from KC/RN

    Part of any President's job is to support his pary's candidates for other offices. All presidents have done this regularly. Just because President Obama has set firm limits on who can contribute and goes to the people instead of lobyests or huge corporations; you want to criticise him? He his my hero and is making the changes he can as fast as he can; while Republicans continue on the same old path of corruption, favoring the wealthy, favoring huge corporations; and sticking it to the average American.

    June 18, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  16. Casy

    The last paragraph in this article is laughable!

    June 18, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  17. President Empty Suit

    Obama cannot run the country so he goes on the campaign trail to ask people for money so he can get relected to run the country. Anyone see a problem with this?

    Obama is actually doing what he does best - TALK.
    In terms of substance, to date he is a big ZERO. He did stiff thousands of individual investors at Chrysler who were bond holders and creditors and gave their money to the UAW as a political payback - it was against the law, but he has no regard for the law.

    It may take 1-2 years, but people will soon wake up to the fact that Obama has set this country back 50 years and put a terrible burden on our children and grandchildren

    June 18, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  18. Fair is Fair

    @ Robin, who said, "Would be real funny if he someone challenged him for the nomination for the next election."

    Funny?... yes. Needed?... yes. Unprecedented?... no. Happened to Jimmy Carter, and it wouldn't surprise me if it happened to Jimmy Carter II.

    June 18, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  19. Rene

    We love you Mr. President! don't let these right wing nut job, Fox News watching, hate mongrols affect you! They want to point the finger at everyone else, past judgement, offer ZERO ideas, and believe the ideas they have to offer (the same ol same ol that is) will revive thise country...BULL! No wonder their party's in a slump! i for one am tired of listening to ignorance from the right! Calling everything you and your administration "socialism" is down right retarded! So if you give the rich money/tax breaks, then it's not considered socialism? Doesn't make a bit a sense to me! Keep your bible beating, ignorant, hypocritcal mouths shut republicans!

    June 18, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  20. andre

    Poor Bush, still reading someone elses speech. I'm urged to wonder if that wonderful policital machine called "The republicans" will ever be anything more than a group of people good at winning elections. Maybe someday they'll realise they also need to have a genuine desire to lead the country. It's not just about a mad dash for power as the republican's history sugegsts.

    June 18, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  21. Hayden

    This is in response to "white female's" post. Listen, his "business" is OUR business. While he is President we are the Citizens. It is our RIGHT and RESPONSIBILITY to "meddle" in his Administration's business. Let me ask you a question, did you ever meddle in Bush's business like Iraq? So, why is one okay and not the other?

    June 18, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  22. I laugh at Limbaugh daily

    Dont listen to comrade TCM, he and his ilk are the same people that the freedom seeking people of iran are trying to get rid of.They want to control everything by their religious beliefs.

    June 18, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  23. Ted

    Interesting, it says that Obama doesn't accept contributions from lobbyists and PACs, but from individuals. Are we to believe that none of the people attending these fundraisers don't represent these lobbyists or PACS? Hardly, that is exactly the sort of person who attends these functions. Just because they donate as individuals and not as PACs doesn't make a difference.

    June 18, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  24. Obama -- liar liar pants on fire

    words uttered by by 8 year old........ I knew she was smart, but such insight into the slick junior senator from Chicago's South side.

    June 18, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  25. Pat, CA

    white female June 18th, 2009 11:08 am ET
    Why can't you'll stay out of this man's Business,
    Sorry, dear, as an American THIS man's business IS my business.

    June 18, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
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